52. Early morning. On the way home. In a car that has collected a few tickets overnight, due to the impromptu extension of our trip.
"What was the best part of the trip?" I ask the driver.
"What was the second?"
"OK, what was the third?"
"Hard to say. I don't remember anything else..."
53. The glass bottle is standing inside the little plastic bucket, or perhaps I should write, both halves of the glass bottle are standing inside the little plastic bucket. The two smiling butterflies on the glass bottle are now separated, almost cleanly, each butterfly on each half. Water is partially filling up the bucket, surrounding the glass bottle. (Is it still called a glass bottle if it no longer acts as one? An ex-glass bottle?)
It is not one of the first sights I expected to see, upon returning after my UK trip. The bottle was my favourite purchase here. Having never really lived alone, it was a rather new experience when, after arriving in Brussels, I had an apartment all for myself. The apartment was furnished and fully-equipped, including, among other things, different types of beer glasses and a crazy cleaner. The bottle was just about the only addition that I made for the apartment, so in a sense, it was a little piece of mine, and there was something comforting about drinking a glass of cold water from the bottle, while looking at the colourful, friendly butterflies. When Arielle and I were briefly considering abandoning Coke Light for a better life and consequently getting a water bottle or filter for our office, I came back to Casa to get another butterfly bottle but there were only frogs and cows. We stuck to Coke Light. The butterfly bottle remained unique, to me.
Now, I suppose, both halves are unique, and not just even to me. As Gaston was with me over the weekend, it is not hard to guess who the culprit might have been. What puzzles me, however, is why the ex-bottle is where it is, inside a water-filled bucket. Was it broken before being placed inside the bucket, which was then filled with water? Or, was it being placed inside the bucket, then broken, and how?
Gaston just comes home. I ask him for possible explanations. What has Tintin done? Gaston does not know. He has seen the bottle there some time after my departure and before his. There was some ice around it at the time, he says.
Then I remember. It had nothing to do with Tintin, and everything to do with a bad combination of a hot afternoon last week, the desire to have immediate cold water, a freezer, and my ever absent-mindedness.
RIP, my butterflies.
54. A day off work, but still plenty of math.
A 25 euro racquet = A 15 euro racquet + a (post-birthday pre-birthday-party) dinner at Mamma Roma => buy the 15 euro racquet.
"Declined, did you say? Strange, it's barely halfway through April. Could you please put 10 euros on the card, and here's a fiver..."
The remaining 10 euro note = birthday card + a (smaller) dinner at Mamma Roma
(getting lost on the way from Port de Namur to home)
The remaining 10 euro note = a secondhand second-edition of An Autobiography by Gandhi + a(n even smaller) dinner at Mamma Roma
I hope my ability for making birthday cards is as good as my mental arithmetic.